Canyoning Blog https://www.canyonauten.de/blog Presented by www.canyonauten.de Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:56:40 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.7 Canyoning in Australia https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/canyoning-in-australia/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/canyoning-in-australia/#respond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:51:57 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=372 Canyoning down under written by Marty Frappell, member of the Sydney University Bushwalkers The Blue Mountains Canyoning in Australia is centred around the Blue Mountains World Heritage Wilderness Area which lies just west of Sydney on the south east coast of Australia. Our approach is probably quite different to the European experience and comes from […]

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Canyoning down under
written by Marty Frappell, 
member of the Sydney University Bushwalkers

The Blue Mountains

Canyoning in Australia is centred around the Blue Mountains World Heritage Wilderness Area which lies just west of Sydney on the south east coast of Australia.

Our approach is probably quite different to the European experience and comes from the geology which formed our canyons.
The “Blue Mountains” are actually a sandstone plateau. At the highest point they are no more than 1300 m above sea level and there are none of the sharp peaks or snow caps which you might expect of a classic range of mountains. Instead, we have elevated, broad rangelands which are heavily forested and sparsely populated. The Mountains are ideally placed to catch rainfall which sweeps in from the South Pacific Ocean. The rain has carved out an unknown number of canyons through the soft sandstone as it makes its way back to the sea over millions of years.


A typical Blue Mountains canyon will start as a small trickle of water high up on a ridge. The small stream gradually gets deeper and wider as it makes its way through otherwise dry forest. The water begins to erode the sandstone as it picks up speed and before long a very deep and narrow slot canyon has been carved out. The vegetation changes within a few metres from dry scrubby forest to lush green subtropical jungle with vines, ferns, palms and tall straight coachwood trees which strive upwards from the deep floor of the canyon towards the sunlight.

This sudden change in environment is what many canyoners seek. With one abseil you leave the dry bushland behind and enter a wonderful subterranean world which is invisible from the top.

The roots of australian Canyoning

For Millennia this country of deeply carved ravines and the thick forest was home to the Darug, Wiraduri and Gundungurra aboriginal nations who made a good living hunting and gathering. The mountains are populated with lots of native flora and fauna. Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and an amazing range of birdlife made for a good living for these first nations. Their artwork painted in ochre on rock caves and overhangs is a feature of the Mountains. We always look for hand stencil artwork when we find a cave on our trips. Like the canyons, many of the locations are a closely guarded secret.
Early European settlers struggled to get across the Mountains. They were pushed back by the deep ravines and rugged country for nearly 40 years after settlement in 1788. The first Europeans to cross the Mountains were shown the high ridge pathways by aboriginal guides in 1813 and this led the establishment of faming land on the western side of the Mountains. The Mountain country itself was too steep and rugged to be of any use to the settlers and farmers.


Formal conservation of the Mountain wilderness areas was driven by a committed group of bushwalkers around the turn of the 20th century. Early bushwalking clubs began to push deeper into unexplored areas of the wilderness, occasionally coming up against deep ravines which could not be entered or crossed. Streams would disappear over a cliff and down into a steep canyon which might be enclosed by 50 metre high walls. For a long time access was impossible and the bushwalkers had to go around the canyons on their trips.

From the middle of the century, more adventurous bushwalkers armed with better ropes and climbing gear began to descend into some of these canyons, abseiling over waterfalls and pushing their way downstream, trying to find a safe way to exit further down. They were amazed at the hidden micro climates they found. Canyons were named and rough maps made for future visits.


Some of these early Canyoners are now legendary in our sport having explored and named many canyons over the years.
Nowadays, Canyoning is a niche sport pursued by small groups and organised bushwalking clubs.

What Canyoning in Australia is like

The peak season is summer from December through til March when the water is a little warmer. Wetsuits, thermals and beanies are often worn as there are long periods of being cold and wet as you scramble over boulders and swim through dark passages and wait your turn to abseil down waterfall. Australia is a dry continent and our canyons often have very low water flows and stagnant pools.
Abseil drops can vary from over 60 m – which are rare – down to 5-20 m which are much more common. 9-10 mm ropes are common and mostly used doubled. Hydrobot descenders which make getting off the ropes easier in the water are popular.

There is a lot of debate about canyoning footwear with many canyoners preferring a plain looking rubber soled tennis show called a Dunlop Volley (which cost about $40) over more expensive shoe styles. The Volleys have great grip on slippery, moss covered rocks. Debates about shoes continue whenever you meet a group of canyoners.

There are many well-known and frequently visited canyons in the Mountains and you can find details on these in a number of websites and in books. Some have had rock bolt anchors installed and some are used by commercial tourist groups. It is possible (for a few hundred dollars) to spend a day on an organised tour and see 1 or 2 well known canyons just an hour or two from Sydney.

For the more adventurous, there a many other less well known canyons throughout the Blue Mountains and particularly in the Wollemi National Park. This area is home to the famous Wollemi Pine – whose location is still a strictly guarded secret. Few canyons in this area have established rock anchors and so canyoners have to be prepared to build anchors with whatever they can find.


Navigation is also an issue. It is very easy to get lost in the thick forested wilderness where there are no tracks or signposts. The more remote canyons are generally reached on multi day trips visiting a number of canyons. It is common to have to “bush bash” through thick dense undergrowth to reach these canyons. We tend to wear old secondhand clothes and patched wetsuits as clothing tends to be destroyed by the rough vegetation on the walk in and out.

The Best Places

There is an unwritten convention amongst canyoners not to publish location details of canyons north of the Wolgan and Capertee Rivers. This is to encourage exploration and discourage the ill prepared. You will occasionally read a published trip report showing lots of photos and with much detail about the trip and notice that the canyon has not been named and its location not specified.


From a personal perspective, my favourite canyons are Starlight Canyon, which has a tunnel section, native bats and millions of glow worms – which make the tunnel look like the night sky, Claustral Canyon which has an incredible tunnel section with three abseils into near darkness over a waterfall, and two canyons which I can’t name on the web in the Wollemi National Park. One of these has perhaps nine abseils and drops into an amazing creek. My last choice is a challenging canyon which starts with a brutal mountain climb followed by some amazing abseils into deep dark constrictions and finally out over a waterfall back into bright sunshine, still hundreds of meters above the river. You can read about Starlight and Claustral on Tom Brennan’s blog. See below. To see the others, you will have to come on a trip.
Our club occasionally hosts overseas visitors who join us for a few trips during holidays in Australia. We like showing experienced overseas visitors some of our great canyons

Sources

There are a few excellent resources available to the keen canyoner wanting to explore Australian canyons

These links should give you a good idea about Canyoning downunder.
At the height of the Australian summer, there is no better place to be than in the depths of a cool canyon surrounded by crystal clear water, amazing rock formations, beautiful trees and ferns and some good mates.

 

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Overview: Canyoning shoes 2018 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/overview-canyoning-shoes-2018/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/overview-canyoning-shoes-2018/#comments Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:14:03 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=350 Canyoningboots 2018 – Maskoon (Decathlon) With the Decathlon Maskoon Sho 500 the year 2018 will see a totally new price class for canyoning shoes. This shoe is produced exclusively for Decathlon and was availiable with Decathlon Spain first. Other Europeans countries have followed and today (13. december 2017) you can order this shoe in the […]

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Canyoningboots 2018 – Maskoon (Decathlon)

With the Decathlon Maskoon Sho 500 the year 2018 will see a totally new price class for canyoning shoes.

This shoe is produced exclusively for Decathlon and was availiable with Decathlon Spain first. Other Europeans countries have followed and today (13. december 2017) you can order this shoe in the following countries: Netherlands, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Portugal, France. Germany is to follow soon).

Even befor the market entry in Germany did we manage to get a few shoes of each size for testing…

On first sight, the Maskoon is very close to the Adidas Hydro Pro… But the Cover of the lacing seems to be very thin and fragile. We will see wether this a pro or con for the shoe after first testings.

Definitely a disappointment is the sole: very rigid and hard it seems to be very cheap and slippery compared to its opponents.

If you cannot order Decathlon products in your homecountry or don’t want to wait for it, you can order here…

Canyoneeringboots 2018 – Fitwell

Fitwell Aquator

To me, personally, still one of the best Boots for Canyoneering that i ever wore… Because it is very slim, you will like this shoe aespecially if you tend to “swim” in other boots.

The price of 180 € for the EU and even 399,90 $ for the US has always been a problem to this shoe. But as other companies raise their prices, it’s becoming more and more of an option.

Second Problem used to be availability… Amazon offers a few sizes. Otherwise you might need to contact the Manufacturer.

Above: new, Below: after approximately 100 Trips.

Canyoning shoes 2018 – Bestard

Bestard Canyon Guide

Second product that can score with a very high shaft, integrated gaiters and a Wibram-Sole is the Bestard Canyon Guide.

You will find a very good review in the CanyonMag.

Bestard Canyon Guide Lady

The Bestard is the only Canyoning Shoe produced as a version adapted to female feet – isn’t that great?

Canyoningshoes 2018 – Five Ten

Five Ten Canyoneer

The classic, the warhorse, the state-of-the-art – won’t be produced anymore! …As we all could expect, after buying Five-Ten, Adidas is now streamlining the production and will not continue making the Canyoneer.

At the moment, the depots are being emptied and with the latest request from 13. december 2017, the following Sizes are already sold out: UK 3,5 / 4,5 / 11,0 / 11,5 / 12,0 / 12,5 / 13,0

All other sizes are still available and can be ordered as long as in stock.

Five Ten Canyoneer Canvas

The Canvas made its appearance in 2017 and is already History again. How very nice, that there was a red shoe, too…

The sole real improvement that the Canvas brought was that sizes were now produced all the way down to UK 1 (also for the regular Canyoneer then) So if you need Canyoningboots for Kids you should absolutely stock the next sizes now, because Adidas will only produce sizes that will bring lots of money.

Sold out (13.december2017): 3,5 / 4,0 / 4,5 / 5,5 / 9,0 / 9,5

Größentabelle Five-Ten Canyoneer
Size-Chart Five-Ten Canyoneer

All other sizes can be backordered and will be available as long as there is stock

Five-Ten Camp Four

It used to be considered as an alternative to the Canyoneer, but it is stopped now, too. Sale has started early in 2017 and all is sold out by now.

Canyoning-boots 2018 – Adidas

Adidas Hydro Pro

The Hydro Pro will not be produced in 2018 anymore… Adidas is streamlining the production and maximising the profits. What else can you say?

Adidas Hydro Lace

The Hydro Lace 2018 will be signal red, otherwise there won’t be a huge difference to the model 2017. Except for the price that has been raised.  Why not after buying in and eliminating the only real competitor?

The Hydro Lace will be the best mainstream canyoning shoe in 2018 for sure. But the methods that reached this goal nearly legitimate boycot…

If you want to buy the 2018 Model for the 2017 price, Canyoning-Shop.com is giving 20% on preorders!

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Island a year makes a happy canyoneer https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/island-a-year-makes-a-happy-canyoneer/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/island-a-year-makes-a-happy-canyoneer/#comments Sun, 21 May 2017 11:03:45 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=215 Canyoning expeditions are always a thrilling thing to do. Especially the ones that happen on the islands where you have to fly to. Last days before departure are always on rocks, since we have to pack all the gear and keep in mind the weight limit. That’s one of the most frustrating things in a […]

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Canyoning expeditions are always a thrilling thing to do. Especially the ones that happen on the islands where you have to fly to. Last days before departure are always on rocks, since we have to pack all the gear and keep in mind the weight limit. That’s one of the most frustrating things in a canyoneers life. Especially because it always happen that I have to pay for another piece of luggage… But that’s the part of the game.

So when everything is packed and prepped, it is time to fly. And then rent the car. Fortunately this year luck was on our side. We got car that was roomy enough for our gear and our butts. I guess Skoda Roomster is named like that for a reason. After getting the car and eating first Gyros we were set of to go into the wild. 6 days on greek island Crete was waiting for us and our adventures.
We were sleeping under the sky. Weather forecast gave us the thumbs up on this decision. But it could hardly got more wrong. On most of the nights we were practicing all the swearwords we knew, when the rain started pouring on us. After couple of days I started to anticipate rainfall so I organized myself a shelter under the stairs of a church. I reckon that is the first time I got something from the church as far as I remember. 🙂 But let’s stick to the topic…

After each rain there was morning. We did 4 canyons together. We started with Hâ, the canyon that happened to appear when two tectonic plates decided to go their own way. Huge crack happened between to mountains and water found is way to the bottom of the valley. Canyon itself is quite interesting. Prologue is like walking in the jungle. First waterfalls are quite uncommon for us, mountain canyoneers since they are covered with ivy. However, this canyon is really not the one for the ones that say that water in a canyon is a must. After couple of abseils water disappears. And the dry canyoning kicks in. But wetsuit stays on since the pools are still wet and cold in March. There is few impressive abseils and we managed to do few jumps as well. We also tasted the climbing out of pothole using water hose that is attached to the top. It was quite demanding, but even girls made it without support. Well done!

On the next day we decided to have easier day, since we were a bit tired from our midnight visitor – rain. We did Kalami II. Approach hike was a bit challenging since there is no official path. But man figures made of stone helped us to get to the top. But then the disappointment came. This one was completely dry. So no aquatic fun. But during the trip it started showing its true face… It is not about the water. It is about the beauty of it. Canyon walls are carved amazingly and it definitely deserves its place in the upper part of my favourite dry canyon list.

On fourth day on the island we decided to do Arvi canyon. The canyon with highest rating on the island. And to be honest, the rating is deserved. But I still think it is overrated, since it is not that intact as we are used. Local farmers have installed the ugly black pipes that are taking the water out of the canyon to water their plants. Not only the pipes are like scars in nature, the problem is when there are being replaced, old pipes are discarded into the canyon. That is huge risk for us canyoneers, since our foot can get easily stuck behind pipe. Such incident happened couple of years ago in the same canyon and the women was rescued just minutes before she was dead. Beside pipes, the canyon is amawzing. Water level was just perfect, nothing challenging, just pure fun canyoning. The highest waterfall is 80m and we decided to do it in two pitches. I had a pleasure to be in the middle anchorpoint, hanging on two bolts 50m above the ground for half an hour, waiting for whole group to pass by me. You should see their eyes while approaching to me. That reminded me about Sponde canyon in Swiss canton Ticino. Amazing canyon as well. The lower part of Arvi is ruled by the darknes. But even there some rays get in and create mystical atmosphere which is just amazing. Arvi is worth doing. And on this place it is fair to mention the farmers. Beside taking the water out of the canyons, they are good hearted. When we were taking off the wetsuits the farmer approached us and handed us whole armful of local cucumbers. It was small gesture but it tells a lot about the warm locals.

And last but not least was Portella canyon. It is the longest one we have done in whole week. And I would say the most polluted one from the beginning. In the beginning there are plastic bags “growing” from the threes and first big pool is filled with plastic bottles and canisters that are floating on water like cream on coffee. And also climbing out of this canyon was story of itself as well, since it was a pothole. But then the magnificent canyon showed its beauty. Countless beautiful pools with green water and nice abseils. From time to time the water disappeared but there was always some new source so there was still fun. I have to mention that there is thermal source in the lower part of the canyon. It is just amazing to jump into the water expecting it would be cold, but then it has like 20 degrees Celsius. And it really is a nice surprise after 4 hours in the cold canyon. And for whole canyon we needed 5 hours which is not that much since the canyon is 2,5km long with lots of small abseils. I must say those 5 hours were one of the best spent hours in a while.

So in the end of a trip I asked myself would I recommend canyoning on Crete. The answer is simple: yes. It is nice experience, the canyons are not demanding, very well equipped and beautiful. If you expect lots of water you would be disappointed, but the beauty of a canyons just compensates it. And in the end you travel and experience new adventures. Adventures are worthwile as Aristotle said.

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Fulbach inferiore https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/fulbach-inferiore/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/fulbach-inferiore/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:34:13 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=192 Evening trip trough Interlaken was essential to get daily fix of internet access and some food. Driving up the valley was a bit too late(road is so tight they have a one-way schedule) so we had to avoid some road blocks(there were big rocks on the road, probably rolled down from surrounding vertical walls) before […]

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Evening trip trough Interlaken was essential to get daily fix of internet access and some food. Driving up the valley was a bit too late(road is so tight they have a one-way schedule) so we had to avoid some road blocks(there were big rocks on the road, probably rolled down from surrounding vertical walls) before we could set up our camp. As we were finishing our dinner 2 french men joined our crew.

Next day was perfectly sunny again. As it was our “rest day” we decided only to do the lowest part of the canyon. Going for a whole package would mean over 1000 vertical meters of panoramic approach(approx 3-4 hours) followed by 6-8 hours down the canyon so we decided the day is too short and to will take it easy. The last bit however had quite a complicated approach.
Last bit of approach
Although we had a good description of the way up, we had some trouble finding the right way which is very exposed. Already at first bit of the climb(which is approximately 50 degree slope of crumbled rock) we got an idea of how a random tumble down would end up; I’ve taken out my helmet and lost a bit of my lunch: apple rolled down for about 10m and bounced twice, before it was smashed to bits on rocks.
First pitches
Vertical as it gets
Multipitch
After traversing first super exposed section we have made it to the woods, still managing the steep climb and finding a way to the top. We even used rope on some of more opened bits,to make sure no one takes the shortcut. Just the very top of our approach the rope was already fixed and it was a very well welcomed help. As we got trough some rock towers our descent started underneath 80m abseil, all the pitches were easy and there was almost no water going down the walls. It was sunny and hot, most different to what we got used to in the last days.
Entering the closed section

 

nice vertical forms

 

Last bits before getting into deeper section

 

Working as an overlapping team our progression was quite swift and soon we reached the part of the canyon that is not very deep but still quite tight with nice rock formations and windows. The experience intensified until the last pitch where water made a natural window with about 30m abseil that got us right back to the camping place. We were greeted by the rest of the team who stayed downstairs: they told us that they had exactly half a hour out of the shade the whole day….climb was worth a sweat and soaking up well missed sunbeams.
Happy frenchman on the last pitch

 

Just before close-down

 

Rock forms in closed section

 

Very last pitch from the bottom
We packed quickly and went for an early start with amazing views…it was a long drive to Laax and again we arrived to our destination in pitch black.

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Gamchi 29.10.2016 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/gamchi-29-10-2016/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/gamchi-29-10-2016/#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2017 18:52:43 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=138 We arrived to Kiental after the darkness settled in, because right before we had to do some shopping and drive about 70 kilometers. Warm wind was promising good drying conditions, but the sound of nearby Gries canyon was not so inviting. Roaring of the waterfall nearby was telling us that maybe this canyon needs even […]

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We arrived to Kiental after the darkness settled in, because right before we had to do some shopping and drive about 70 kilometers. Warm wind was promising good drying conditions, but the sound of nearby Gries canyon was not so inviting. Roaring of the waterfall nearby was telling us that maybe this canyon needs even lower temperatures and more time with no rain(although it was about 3 weeks since last drops fell upon this region). Casual evening with pasta, gluhwein and early bed time.

The next morning inspection of the canyon was turning us down: so much whitewater is not a good invitation. Main plan(just like the freezing alitude) however was a bit higher-Gamchi: with entry located at cca 2200hm, sometimes 50cm wide and down to 200m deep .
We decided to give it a go. Since our guide literature was intimidating us with short time windows, scales and level of commitment + we had some wild background story(icy glacial access) from Andrej(who visited the same canyon one year before) we left our only female companion back at the Griesalp where the views were awesome and lights were promising…we carefully placed our wet material to dry and the lucky ones stuffed backpack with secondary dry (wet)suits.
Hike up was easy with nice view into the lower part of the canyon restrained by its steep walls. That was not even our goal. After a couple of kilometers a plain opened up, a brand new hut shined in all of its glory and we knew we are almost half way there.
On the top the glacial world uncovered itself in all of its glory: huge saracs, glacial tunnels and plains of rubble, first exposed to sunlight couple thousand years ago, felt a bit uncomforting. When we got into the canyon entry it felt even less inviting: just a hundred meters from where we entered the canyon(and the water levels were acceptable) it started pouring in from all sides. It’s very hard to imagine yourself in a tight abyss with a chance of dihidrogen monoxide quantities multiplying, so before we reached our first abseil we said goodbye to 2/5 of our team: exiting the comfort zone is OK, but when instinct and guts tells you to quit(and you still can)….you better listen.
First couple hundred tight meters were short but quite easy. Afterwards the creek is about 30m wide and strategically placed anchor points offer an easy descent. Beyond that it gets technical and very dark.
The deepest abseil starts with a 10m redirected side climb.We decided to make another anchor point there, since re-hanging and abseiling from a single one felt a bit too sketchy. From there you plummet into the dark, for about 25m and another 30m vertical you get some proper wash down in the waterfall. Into the dark. The field of vision narrows down to 30cm, staying up right is a good idea, keeping ropes straight(big chance of them getting tangled due to waterfall winds/powers) essential. At the bottom it’s like during a massive hurricane-at night: water and wind from the waterfall hitting from most directions…windchill factor increases exponentially. Taking photos is not possible, because its too dark and flash only illuminates a curtain drops around us.
After just couple of meters, we got used to the dark, but still treating tight places with caution. Interestingly: absolutely no need for it…even the wildest wild water pools/turns turned out harmless, since they were just knee-deep. Some tricky gap-transitions to other anchor points and in about 2 hours of complete darkness we got to the pre-last anchor point.
Andrejs advice reduced into two words: “keep right”.
It was intense. Minor stupidity made my experience much worse tho; I’ve sat down onto a stone sattle right before hanging in and noticed I was sitting on my pirahna(abseil device). Looking down and trying to solve the problem without falling over my helm hit the wall and….I was blackened. It just took me couple of seconds and a lot of anxiety to realize I just need to turn my switch ON again.The rest of it was even worse than entry: direct abseil into a strong water stream in complete darkness…the only indicator of direction were the blinding drops. Aftrer the 35m abseil we quickly went for the refuge just behind the corner. Last abseil was right in front of us and finally there was light.
The view after the last abseil was simply spectacular. We have found ourselves in the middle of a great dome, about 50m in diameter, vertical walls surrounding us shooting up about 150m. Right from the side on the top there was a strong,concentrated stream of water which fell apart into tiny droplets due long fall and wind trough the canyon. We were quite speechless and also relived: the cold was biting us to the bone and we were very happy because there was just a 10 minute walk in a creek bed before we got onto open and much warmer plain again. “Gamchi, the amazing f**ker. This is why we do this.”  Sandi concluded.
We have met with the rest of the team at the exit and walked the path back down to the parking lot. The stuff we have left outside was dry, so next morning will be nicer. We packed everything together and left for Kander tal, south of Fisistok. This will be our first south facing canyon on this trip.

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Sandbach (north wall of Eiger) https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/sandbach-north-wall-of-eiger/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/sandbach-north-wall-of-eiger/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:57:10 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=40 This is the first part of a series of articles from Jakob Pavli about Canyoning in Switzerland. If you want to read the following articles you can add our RSS-Feed I’d like to start this blog series with a series of short reports from one of our canyoning trips. A typical autumn is a good […]

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This is the first part of a series of articles from Jakob Pavli about Canyoning in Switzerland. If you want to read the following articles you can add our RSS-Feed


I’d like to start this blog series with a series of short reports from one of our canyoning trips.

A typical autumn is a good time to go canyoning to places that are way too full of water most of the year. This year we’ve hit an absolute jackpot: sunny weather, near freezing temperatures(which prevent snow from melting) and great team of canyoning buddies.
We(Žiga and myself) started our adventure on 27.10.2016, and met the rest of the team of 4 on undisclosed location in Swiss Alps. Our goal for the first day was north face of Eiger, which is more known for nice alpinistic routes. After kitting up, we took a fanicular from the bottom, and then extra 2hr ascent to one of glacier patches at the bottom of the wall. We decided to enter the canyon as far up as we could, the only problem was there is no actual way leading all the way there so we finished on the “wrong side” of the canyon and had to drill a new anchor point.
Entering the canyon was a bit of a pain in the ass: abseiling into the narrow darkness with ice wall one side and it soon turns into a roof. Two pitches, 20 and another 30m started the route. It was not much sunlight that can reach the bottom so we had to use our headlamps. Amounts of water were also not significant but it was really freezing so it was quite some time before everyone was at the bottom. The first part of the canyon is a bit surreal: perfectly formed dark limestone, with sharp edges, mostly quite tight, very grippy(since it’s too cold for any algae to grow). At some bits of the canyon the icy roof had round holes made by dripping water, where the little bits of light still reach the bottom. After couple of hours we got to the final bit and all the sudden our blue icy roof was gone and replaced with an epic views onto the idilic Swiss valley underneath.

Second part of the canyon is still very nicely carved, some abseils are higher(up to 50m). The biggest difference to upper part is the light and the fact that you can exit the canyon almost anytime. We were almost too late for the last funicular, so we decided to skip last couple of abseils and run for it. At the station we were super happy to find a very warm and empty waiting room and our frozen brain started daydreaming about crashing/squating in this place. Warm room where you can dry your wet things is a luxury on trips like this…it’s nice to know you don’t need much to be happy.

 

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Entry
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Deep down in the canyon
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Holes

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Exiting the first part

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Epic views
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Higher abseil
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nicely polished rocks

Der Beitrag Sandbach (north wall of Eiger) erschien zuerst auf Canyoning Blog.

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Wintercanyoning in Slovenia under Zeleniške špice https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/wintercanyoning-slovenia/ https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/en/wintercanyoning-slovenia/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:16:01 +0000 https://www.canyonauten.de/blog/?p=1 Repov Kot is canyon located below the mountain ridge Zeleniške Špice in Slovenia. Direct translation of this mountain ridge to English would probably be Green Peaks. And I have to admit, when I saw this majestic canyon for the first time, I was total “green” myself, just in the middle of intro tour program at […]

Der Beitrag Wintercanyoning in Slovenia under Zeleniške špice erschien zuerst auf Canyoning Blog.

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Repov Kot is canyon located below the mountain ridge Zeleniške Špice in Slovenia. Direct translation of this mountain ridge to English would probably be Green Peaks. And I have to admit, when I saw this majestic canyon for the first time, I was total “green” myself, just in the middle of intro tour program at climbing school, so I found this name quite funny. Due to this fact and also my lack of experiences, I decided to return to this canyon some other time. I remember that I mentioned my intensions to my climbing instructor and he was not very thrilled by my plans. “We’re coming here to ice climb” he pointed out, “don’t make our spot popular among people!” After that current event time passed by and months turned into years. I travelled around the world and visited some of the nicest canyons but I always had in mind a hidden gem in my home land, which I have to visit one day.

View on Zeleniške Špice
View on Zeleniške Špice

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from my good friend Jakob and he told me he was thinking about going to this canyon. At first, he had in mind to go there alone, to do it solo, so he came to me to borrow my power drill. But luckily for me he realized he bought wrong types of anchor points for the drill-bit that I provided him with. That is why he decided to postpone his expedition until following weekend when I could also join him. I was thrilled by the plan and an idea of some time off my every day routine.

Planjava wall - place where my grandfather has his own route -Humar-Škarja,
Planjava wall is on the right bank of the canyon – place where my grandfather has his own route -Humar-Škarja,

I usually struggle with waking up in the morning, but I never find it hard to get up early for canyoning tour. And this time was no exception. Jakob picked me up and we hit the road. We parked our car in a parking lot in Jermanica. Canyon is approximately an hour of walking distance away from the there. We met some hikers on the way up, and we assumed they were wondering where we are heading with such enormous amount of gear. Due to fact, that our gear was not only huge but also heavy, we had to take few short breaks during our approach to the canyon, to catch our breath. On one of those breaks I almost ended up without my backpack and all of my gear. I placed my backpack on the path, to stretch my back and could only watch my backpack fall in to abyss. Fortunately for me, it got stuck on one of the trees but it took me a while to get it back and I was also worried about the power drill I was carrying in it. I had to check it immediately after I got backpack to the safe ground and fortunately it still worked fine. Honestly, I never really doubted in German engineering, but when it comes to canyoning, I leave nothing to coincidence. This little accident also reminded me, that I have to get my shit together and focus on canyoning.

Feels like walking on water.
Feels like walking on water.

After our little pre-adventure we got back on track and full of expectations continued heading to the top of the canyon. When we got there we realized it was completely frozen and agreed we are very satisfied with our decision not to bring wet suits with us, while there was almost no chance to get wet (or so we thought). Landscape full of frozen pools was magnificent. And while this canyon is located quite high above the sea level, there is a many dwarf pines which can be used as anchor points for the rope. We used a part of old rope to bind it around dwarf pines, with double fisherman knot or European death knot. Both options worked fine as opposed to knot “macramé”, which did not work out as we expected it and Jakob named it “hara-kiri technique”. We both agreed not to use it until further notice. 🙂 But no matter what belaying with dwarf pines spared us some time and energy, so made our progress true canyon faster.

Upper part.
Upper part.
Happy canyoneer.
Happy canyoneer.

The upper part of the canyon went surprisingly well. With deeply frozen green pools on which we were able to walk and surrounded with outstanding nature it made me fell for a moment almost a bit god-like.
The highest abseil was about 40 m long and already equipped with bolt on top, since the waterfall attracts a lot of ice climbers. On the rest of the places where there were no dwarf pines, we placed stainless steel bolts.

The highest abseil.
The highest abseil.
Jakob abeseiling.
Jakob abeseiling.
Ray of sun in the lower part.
Ray of sun in the lower part.

Everybody knows time flies when you are having fun and before we realized we were already in the lower part of the canyon. With every meter of our progress, ice got thinner and thinner and it was only a question of time before one of use will land in the cold water. Luck was again on my side. After one of the abseils, there was a big pool, which I tried to avoid with a light swing on the rope and because of a friction climbing on the icy rock I failed my intentions badly and ended up in the freezing water. We both laughed and from that moment on I was the one who had to go down first and checked situation, trying not to fall through ice or into the water again.

Avoiding falling trough the ice.
Avoiding falling trough the ice.

It took us 4 hours to reach the end of canyon. Generally, we were positively surprised by its beauty. Probably, I would not list it on top scale of the most beautiful canyons I have ever been to, but it is totally decent canyon to visit after work on a long summer day (after a longer period of rain) or as ice canyon during winter.

Ice texture.
Ice texture.

Der Beitrag Wintercanyoning in Slovenia under Zeleniške špice erschien zuerst auf Canyoning Blog.

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